Rental EV's - (lesson learned)

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by kyleb, Jan 21, 2023.

  1. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach

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    We were in South Florida the last couple of days and rented a car from Hertz. Turned out, they gave us a Polestar EV. When we left the rental center, they verified the charge level of the car and instructed us that the car should be returned with at least the same charge level as when we picked it up.

    First problem.... The charge level was 40%, meaning that if we'd needed to go more than about 80 miles with our newly rented car, we'd have needed to spend a substantial amount of time at a charging station. That's just a screw job from the get-go.

    Second problem... Where we were, there were no rapid chargers that worked on the Polestar. The only chargers we could find charged at about 10% an hour, so we'd have needed to charge for 4+ hours if we wanted to make a 200 mile drive.

    Third problem....There really weren't any convenient charging options. Given our usage, we needed to charge the car for an hour plus to return it at >40% charge. Sorry, given the sketchy charging locations we found (none at the office we were visiting and none at the hotel where we stayed), we just returned it at 28% charge and I guess we'll pay whatever the charging fee is.

    Certainly we hadn't considered all of this before taking the EV, but it was serious disappointment that the car didn't have a good charge when we picked it up and that there were zero decent charging options.

    There were multiple Tesla superchargers around, but those don't work for the Polestar.

    In the future I'll think long and hard before renting an EV away from home...

    PS... I didn't like the Polestar anyway. The car had a high beltline, so the windows and dash were way up high, with windows that weren't very tall at all. I always felt like a little kid trying to peek out of granny's buick or something like that. And the controls were not intuitive - particularly things like finding and adjusting the HVAC. I'm sure we'd have picked up on it in a couple of days of active use, but on a rental, I really need to understand how to operate the vehicle before I leave the lot, and that just wasn't in the cards.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2023
  2. Cluemeister

    Cluemeister Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    "In the future I'll think long and hard before renting a non Tesla EV away from home..."

    FIFY

    :)
     
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  3. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach

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    Are there guarantees that rental Teslas are handed out at 100% charge and chargers are convent where you'll be staying?

    Caveat Emptor...
     
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  4. Cluemeister

    Cluemeister Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    Range anxiety is common when you first drive an EV. It gets easier with time.

    Teslas are currently rented at major metros, so Tesla superchargers are not hard to find. And regular destination chargers (which work on Tesla) usually get about 30-40 miles an hour.

    So get back up on that horse (Tesla) and rent again!
     
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  5. Jim K

    Jim K En-Route PoA Supporter

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    That's disappointing. Sounds like the main problem was Hertz not charging their car. I guarantee they charged the last renter for a full charge. We rented a Tesla in South Dakota (not from Hertz) and it was a great experience. It was fully charged when we got it and there was no trouble finding superchargers. Definitely something to keep in mind that I wouldn't have thought about. I would've assumed they would have it charged.

    The polestar is supposed to be one of the fastest charging cars available, IF you can find a DC fast charger that can output enough power to take advantage of it, and that's pretty rare in the real world.

    I have the same gripe about beltlines on pretty much all new cars. It wouldn't be that bad, except they always put the armrest too low. In the old days I'd rest my arm on the window sill instead, but that's not so comfortable when it's up by your ear.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2023
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  6. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach

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    Range anxiety wasn't one of the challenges. Charging convenience, or lack thereof, was the issue. Still, I thought starting at 40% put the renter behind the 8 ball from the get go. If our plan had been to drive to Key West (Tesla or not), we'd have been up the creek. Thankfully, we only drove about 20 miles on our trip, so it wasn't an issue for us.
     
  7. jrcox19

    jrcox19 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That's definitely unacceptable. Every EV I've rented (Admittedly all Teslas) were >85% when I picked them up. The one time I got one that was lower, I went back to the counter and traded so they could recharge it on-site for somebody else.
     
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  8. Lindberg

    Lindberg Final Approach

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    My best friend has owned only Teslas for several years. He owns two now, and has experience driving them cross country. For trips, he rents a gas car. YMMV.
     
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  9. Lindberg

    Lindberg Final Approach

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    I'd plaster this all over social media.
     
  10. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach

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    I could, but social media isn't really my thing. I did figure my experience might help out a fellow pilot or two, which is why I posted here.
     
  11. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Non-tesla EVs in North America use the J1772 standard for Level 1 and 2 charging and the CCS1 standard for DC fast charging.

    Most areas should have CCS fast charging available but how is a renter supposed to know how to find them if they've never driven an EV before? That's the biggest challenge I see for EV rentals. I know Hertz sends a lot of links to orientation videos when someone rents a Tesla but that depends on the renter making the effort to learn about it. If a renter doesn't know anything about EVs, and doesn't make that effort, they are likely going to have a bad experience.

    What town were you in in Florida?

    The best way to find charging is the www.PlugShare.com site or app. You will need to know enough about EVs to know what type of connector you're looking for (CCS) and the difference between DC fast charging and Level 2 charging and when each is appropriate.

    You can also use PlugShare to find hotels with destination chargers (Level 2) so that you can charge your rental each night while you sleep. That will eliminate the need for you to have to go to a charging station, unless you're driving more than the car's range in one day.

    That said, the state of our CCS fast charging network is not great. Lots of hardware issues with the chargers which the various networks are trying to address. This makes it even harder for a renter as they don't understand why the charger isn't work, or isn't working well, and when to switch to another.

    Tesla's Supercharger network has few of these problems and is a huge advantage for Tesla at this point. I'm sure the CCS networks will catch up eventually but they aren't there yet.

    Here's a screenshot from PlugShare of South Florida showing only CCS fast charging stations.

    Untitled.png
     
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  12. Spring Ford

    Spring Ford Line Up and Wait

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    I read the other day that Hertz have just ordered a large number of EVs. 350k? Can't quite remember exactly. Possibly this is globally.

    40% charge on delivery of a rental EV is unacceptable.
     
  13. Brad W

    Brad W Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    what were you using to find chargers? An onboard navigation screen perhaps?
    and what part of South Florida?
    As Larry in TN posted, there are lots of EVSE stations around. Not on every corner but still
     
  14. masloki

    masloki Pattern Altitude

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    I don’t think a Polestar/Mach-E/etc are good rental cars unless you are already a CCS EV driver, for these specific issues you’ve run into. Finding fast charging, maybe needing an EA or EVGo or ChargePoint account, managing consumptions rates, and all that are different skills vs picking the lowest quality/cheapest gas station without a card skimmer that is close enough to the rental office to not come off Full.
     
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  15. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Thanks for the write up. I figure you know better now, and I probably would have done the same as you without reading your write up. But my take away is that you should have said "screw you" to Hertz and told them you wanted a fully charged car. I know better now if I ever rent an EV, thanks.
     
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  16. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach

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  17. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Back when I travelled for business scheduling was tight. Trade shows, customer visits, we packed a lot into each trip. Sitting around waiting for a car to charge is wasted time, and time is money.

    EDIT: And the fact that they delivered the car with only 40% charge tells me Hertz doesn't have the infrastructure necessary to support the cars they're renting.
     
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  18. Dave Theisen

    Dave Theisen En-Route PoA Supporter

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    On the plus side, you did have to spend five minutes at the gas station by the airport trying to find the gas cap release. :)
     
  19. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

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  20. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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  21. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Wait a minute…Hertz…electrical frequency…electric cars…:idea:
     
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  22. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

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    No. "Hertz", like in it hertz like hell to do business with them.
     
  23. bluesky74656

    bluesky74656 Line Up and Wait

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    I rented a Tesla from Hertz and loved it. I picked it up with about 80% charge. I drove it 100 miles over a few days, charged it once overnight at a destination charger at my hotel, returned it at 80% charge, and didn’t pay a cent for gas.

    They told me just to return it with greater than 10% charge, not what I started with. The person at the gate asked if I wanted to prepay for my charge and I just laughed.
     
  24. Pinecone

    Pinecone Pattern Altitude

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    I normally rent from Hertz, and haven't had any issues.

    I used to rent from Alamo, but they charge you up front for the rental. Which causes problems when doing extended trips for work. You get charged, and the charge on your credit card bill weeks before you can get paid the money for the travel.
     
  25. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC Administrator Management Council Member

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    Last edited: Jan 25, 2023 at 7:35 PM